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Inherited genes that increase cancer risk.Certain gene mutations that increase the risk of breastcancer can be passed from parents to children. The most common gene mutations are referred to as BRCA1 and BRCA2. These genes can greatly increase your risk of breast cancer and other cancers, but they don't make cancer inevitable.Obesity.Being obese increases your risk of breast cancer.Beginning your period at a younger age.Beginning your period before age 12 increases your riskof breast cancer.Beginning menopause at an older age.If you began menopause at an older age, you're more likely to develop breast cancer.Having your first child at an older age.Women who give birth to their first child after age 35 may have an increased risk of breast cancer.Having never been pregnant.Women who have never been pregnant have a greater risk of breast cancer than do women who have had one or more pregnancies.Postmenopausal hormone therapy.Women who take hormone therapy medications that combine estrogen and progesterone to treat the signs and symptoms of menopause have an increased risk of breast cancer. The risk of breast cancer decreases when women stop taking these medications.Drinking alcohol.Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer.Environmental and Lifestyle Risk Factors:Lack of Physical Activity.A sedentary lifestyle with little physical activity can increase your risk for breast cancer.Poor Diet. A diet high in saturated fat and lacking fruits and vegetables can increase your risk for breast cancer.Being Overweight or Obese. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for breast cancer. Your risk is increased if you have already gone through menopause.Drinking Alcohol. Frequent consumption of alcohol can increase your risk for breast cancer. The more alcohol you consume, the greater the risk.Radiation to the Chest. Having radiation therapy to the chest before the age of 30 can increase yourrisk for breast cancer.Combined Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Taking combined hormone replacement therapy, as prescribed for menopause, can increase your risk for breast cancer and increases the risk that the cancer will be detected at a more advanced stage.